Carolina Arciniegas

 Windows reflect public space while enabling us to peek into the stories contained inside them. And there’s one thing unique to Bogotá windows: the iron bars in front of them. Beautifully designed, handcrafted, decorated, and full of creativity. In a huge and dangerous city they protect and honor the meaning of ‘home.’ But bars also awaken the impression of imprisonment. They secure, but in doing so they lock you inside, reinforcing the concept of a dangerous outside. Pretty prisons, but prisons nonetheless. The symbols represent 45 iron bar patterns discovered in different parts of Bogotá.













Bogotá is a big city. Everyday I have a reason to leave my apartment and lose myself in the concrete jungle; in these thousand small journeys some objects worry me deeply, objects dividing the inside of houses from the outside, the windows. In them the public space is reflected, but if you’re lucky, you might observe on the inside of the place the respective owner. I think windows are beautiful, full of stories, full of geometry and color.
Traveling to Germany last year I was surprised by the differences of the windows of all my life and those of Germany. I grew up with windows that have grates, for me beautiful grates, thought-through grates, decorated grates, grates full of creativity, grates that protect, because in the whole world big cities maintain danger and people want to feel secure in their homes. This doesn’t have to be something sad or ugly, but can be an opportunity to honor what is home.
At the same time as I admire the esthetics present in the window grates, I wonder for the impression of imprisonment they awake. Even though they’re beautiful, they are still window grates, bars, the secure you from the outside, but they lock you inside, they are pretty prisons, but prisons nonetheless. My 45 symbols were created coming from grates I encountered in some of my journeys through the city. They are 45 abstractions of existent grates, 45 explorations and attempts to answer some questions of security and the way of life in Bogotá.